You can prevent skin cancer: that’s the message of the Canadian Skin Cancer Foundation and its founder, Dr. Barry Lycka, Dermatologist. “Sun safety is the first line of defence: seek shade or wear long sleeves, pants and hats during peak hours and wear sun screen any time you are out of doors during daylight hours, no matter the season.”

He also advises avoiding the use of tanning beds as the ultra violet radiation emitted by them can be up to four times that of the sun.

“And early detection will help ensure that skin cancers that are relatively easy do not become life threatening,” he goes on to say.

"Early detection can mean successful treatment with a minimum of invasion and scarring and may, in some cases, prevent death.”

Self examination

Examining your skin on a regular basis could lead to early detection, treatment and in most cases,
positive outcomes. 

The Canadian Skin Cancer Foundation recommends self examinations at least monthly, checking your whole body as skin cancer can show up on areas that rarely see the sun. Here's 4 tips:

  1. Examine your body front and back as well as left and right sides — ask for someone’s help or use a mirror.
  2. Check forearms, underarms, armpits and the palms of your hands.
  3. Look at the back of your legs (right up to your buttocks), soles of your feet and between your toes.
  4. Examine the back of your neck and, using a mirror or someone’s help, check your scalp (parting your hair to get a better look).

Early detection is key

Dr. Lycka explains that skin cancers take many forms, “if you are concerned about any changes to existing moles or any new spots or lesions on your skin, contact your doctor immediately.

Early detection can mean successful treatment with a minimum of invasion and scarring and may, in some cases, prevent death.”